Posted by: beckymaxedon | June 4, 2009

Summer moves

I haven’t blogged for quite a while so thought it would be good to ramble for a bit.

As if it isn’t enough to be a little short-staffed and working hard to ensure those newspapers hit the driveway every morning, I’ve added one more odious task to my summer.

MOVING

I thought it would be a cold day in hell before I did something this crazy again, but it’s actually going to be a hot day in paradise!

We found a unique, funky house with a pool and wonderful personality and couldn’t resist.

In our third summer in Lake Havasu City, we’ve grown used to the 120-plus temps, and I said I wouldn’t move unless I found something I liked with a pool and this fits the bill.

We’ll be moving about the time the thermometer hits the 124-125 mark and that should be pretty fun, but the splash at the end of the day will make up for any discomfort.

Early mornings in the desert are just about as perfect as it gets and the early morning is when the heavy lifting will have to be accomplished.

The layout of the house will make it a great place to entertain and I can’t wait to do some of that.

If there is a thought process for me that fills up the space in my mind with something other than work, decorating a new living space fits the bill nicely. The visions are dancing around and I love it. Trying to find just the right place for this or that is keeping me from sleeping, actually.

Oops … can’t do that. My days are too long as it is and I have to get back to my day job right now.

TTFN

Posted by: beckymaxedon | May 5, 2009

The movies are coming! The movies are coming!

With filming set to begin soon on the movie “Piranha 3D” here in Lake Havasu City, excitement is mounting.

The movie, directed by Alexandre Aja (recently of “Mirrors” and “The Hills Have Eyes”), has the potential of a blockbuster. With the likes of Elizabeth Shue, Ving Rhames and a cameo performance by Richard Dreyfuss, this is no B popcorn seller.

With a natural curiosity about such things, I decided to take in “The Hills Have Eyes” this past weekend on the tele. Wow! I can only say if the  monsters are as weird as the mutants in this film and the blood and guts flow as freely, this could be a pretty interesting film. Add in 3D and this could be fun.

The premise that an earthquake produces a fissure in Lake Havasu (of course, in the movie it won’t be called Lake Havasu) releasing mutated prehistoric piranhas that quickly go about wreaking havoc on all they purvey.

Now, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find bikini-clad females and tan hard-bodied males around these parts. Just wander down to the Bridgewater Channel and take your pick on any given weekend.

It is surprising, given the rugged beauty of Lake Havasu, that more films aren’t shot here.

The city’s economy is enjoying a healthy, much-needed boost from those staying in our hotels, dining in our restaurants and more. And the Convention and Visitors Bureau anticipates a total influx of more than $15 million to the local coffers.

The project will also provide many needed jobs for those who are hired to work as extras. Being an extra can be fun. My significant other was lucky enough to work as an extra on a few projects when we lived in Vegas. He was part of “Ocean’s 11” and got to meet Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt and some of the other cast members. It’s not easy being an extra but it does take you out of the ho-hum, day-to-day work activities.

I hope this movie does well at the box office and is a showcase for our beautiful lake, mountains and surrounding desert landscape. The exposure could make it a place movie location finders find attractive.

Posted by: beckymaxedon | April 22, 2009

Fond farewells

Last week, I said goodbye to a special member of the family. 

Scotty, our cardigan welsh corgi was literally on his last legs. Last Tuesday, he could no longer walk. He would have been 17 in July.

We had been selfish wanting him to stay around for us. It was time to let him go.

It was without a doubt, one of the saddest days. Not only was he a best bud, he had been through all our ups and downs for the past 14 years. In fact, we often said he’d seen more of the world than some people we know.

I know he is running and playing and being his silly self wherever he is. He can see and hear again and he’s at peace.

Too soon for a new dog yet, but I must admit, I’ve been on the corgi rescue sites and have looked for the possibility of finding one in our neck of the woods. 

In the same week, I learned my last remaining aunt had passed away in Indiana. She was 97 – my mother’s only remaining sibling.

I’d say Scotty and aunt Eleanor had a pretty good run.

I know Scotty had a great life with good food and good companionship. I know also aunt Eleanor had a good life with a loving family.

We should all be so lucky.

RIP

Posted by: beckymaxedon | March 17, 2009

Sad days

Another journalism giant bit the dust today. The Seattle Post Intelligencer published its last print edition. The paper was 146 years old.

Last month, the Rocky Mountain News fell by the wayside. It was just two months short of its 150th anniversary. My dad worked for the Rocky when I was a baby. it’s sad to see these giants go.

I am waiting daily for the San Francisco Chronicle to meet a similar fate. The PI is going to an all Web paper and as a conversation on NPR this morning said, the content will be vastly different from the print edition. There won’t be any room for investigative stories, but rather quick-hit staff reports will be the norm.

A group of journalists from the Rocky is launching a Web-based paper if they can garner 50,000 paid subscribers. They plan to publish the first edition on what would have been the anniversary of the print edition. That product will be vastly different as well.

One advantage I see for papers like Today’s News-Herald is our core product that is intensely local. We provide our readers with news about their neighbors and let them know what’s going on around town. It’s a little different approach from the bigs and it bodes well for our survival.

We aren’t isolated from the crunch, though. We’re doing everything we can to keep providing a quality product to our readers.

It would be a shame to see newspapers go by the wayside. There’s nothing like rolling around in a newspaper on Sunday morning to get you set for the week ahead. It’s one of the small pleasures that remains affordable in this age of diminishing assets.

I hope I don’t see the day when I have to crank up my computer to get my morning fix.

Posted by: beckymaxedon | March 9, 2009

Well wishes

Our dear colleague Steve suffered a stroke last week. While it resulted in some very scary moments in the newsroom, the speed at which the paramedics and fire department personnel arrived was impressive.

Within about 5 minutes they were in the newsroom and  in 25 minutes, Steve was on his way to the hospital. The guys who responded to the newsroom went about their business in a professional manner and clearly knew their stuff.

All of us are hoping for Steve’s rapid recovery. 

It was comforting to witness firsthand the skills of our local emergency response people. I know if I ever have to call 911 again for any reason, the outcome will be positive.

Thanks to them for their service.

Posted by: beckymaxedon | March 3, 2009

Imagined and real memories

Friday night in the English Village made me think of photos I have seen of the area in its heyday.

The lights of the vendors’ tents and booths, the carnival and the atmosphere was intoxicating, masking the tarnished buildings that remain in the area.

Mardi Gras 2009 brought some of the lost charm back and it made me think events like this should be planned throughout the year to at least use the area that is the gateway to Lake Havasu City and the London Bridge.

The disgrace that is the English Village is clearly visible in the daylight, but at night with twinkling lights and lasers beaming off the buildings, it captures the essence of what it once was and what it could be again.

Even the water in the welcoming fountain sparkled under the lights. The Village was alive with people strolling through, laughing, talking, dancing and just taking in the ambiance.

It was just a lot of fun and the venue should be utilized as much as possible in the future.

Posted by: beckymaxedon | February 11, 2009

The bong shot

So, a publisher receives a piece of e-mail one day containing a photo obviously shot with a cell phone camera of a world-famous athlete taking a toke from a marijuana bong.

“Wow,” the publisher says. “This is dynamite. Geez, the sleazy photographer only wants $$$$$$. Cheap at the price.”

Said publisher jumps at the chance to scoop the world. Publisher instructs the managing editor to stop the presses and make sure the photo appears life size on the front page of the next day’s tabloid.

As a journalist, I had a real hard time with this one. 

OK, if this publisher doesn’t jump on it, someone else will. No harm, no foul, right. All’s fair in the news biz.

My moral dilemma stems from the fact that in this case, the athlete, Michael Phelps, has established himself as the world’s preeminent swimmer — I stop short  of all time because no one knows that. He has trained extremely hard most of his short life and has little opportunity to enjoy himself.

If anyone were to drop in on any college party for say the last 40 years, pot will probably be part of the equation. Millions of people smoke pot every day in the US of A with few if any adverse effects. Yes, it is illegal to smoke pot unless the smoker has a prescription in hand, but come on people.

Now, authorities apparently plan to arrest others who attended the party in question. What is that all about?

Phelps, doubtless has enough money from endorsements and Olympic stipends and payment for medals to last him a while.

He has been suspended from competition for three months by the USOC and US Swimming. He has already lost some endorsements and has been publicly embarrassed. Enough already.

That publisher who received the cell-phone photo must be feeling pretty satisfied right now.

Another one bites the dust in the name of a free press and the public’s need to know.

Boy, I’m sure glad I know Michael Phelps took a bong hit at a college party. Let’s make sure his outstanding performance over the past many years is shadowed by that.

Future headline, “Michael Phelps, Olympic great and pot smoker …”

I’d rather see my heroes shooting smack. It’s much sexier and sensational.

Posted by: beckymaxedon | January 23, 2009

Hunter would have approved

Last night, I watched the independent documentary “Gonzo, The life and work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson,” directed by Alex Gibney.

I couldn’t help but think how excited Hunter would be about the sea change in politics in America over the last two years.

In the film, friends, family and the good doctor himself speak of the tremendous let down he experienced when W. was elected the second time. 

Hunter’s health, while already deteriorating, went dramatically down hill after that and his act of suicide was not shocking to anyone who knew how he lived life in the fast lane. When that was no longer possible, there was little left for him to do. That, combined with his disappointment in what he saw as a soft, decaying nation, provided the exclamation point to his life.

Borne by the radical ’60s, Hunter grew his political teeth running for sheriff of tiny Aspen, Colo. — a race he nearly won.

Not only that, one of his best works, “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail,” chronicled the presidential campaign of George McGovern. McGovern, in the film, speaks fondly of Hunter and his understanding of the inner workings of a political campaign and its ramifications down the road. His work for Rolling Stone magazine showed his political acumen and shaped a generation. 

Strongly independent and grasping a better than average understanding of the Constitution, Hunter defended the rights of individuals in all of his work.

His life belied his zest for freedom of expression, although often misunderstood by many.

His work conveyed his zest and his frustration with the status quo. He always wanted to shake it up and most often, he succeeded.

There’s little doubt that he would have been excited about the election of Barack Obama and the promise of a new kind of politics in Washington. Hunter’s disdain for authority and conformity would have been satisfied by the mass of humanity gathered in the National Mall Tuesday. 

I imagine he toasted the event from his new vantage point and he’ll be watching the progress.

It would be a shame to let him down again.

Posted by: beckymaxedon | January 19, 2009

Is it just me?

Is it just me or does it seem like people are losing their cool at the drop of a hat?

Does it seem like some have forgotten what the words consideration and manners mean. I am always ultra-sensitive to other people’s needs. I’ll always let someone in the grocery line who has fewer items than I do and I always try to be ready to pay up quickly and move on. 

Last week, I was in line at the grocery store. I was on my way to work, trying to move along. I got into line behind one person who was – I thought – finished and ready to pay. I only had three items, mind you. The person hadn’t even started writing her check and then after quite a while, finished writing and was to get cash back. The clerk cheerfully gave her the change and started with my measly order. The lady ahead of me proceeded to tell the clerk she wanted one $20 and one $5 and one $10 and five $1s. No concern for those in line waiting … there were folks behind me as well.

When I was growing up, my sister and I would have been taken to the woodshed if we did anything to offend anyone. We were taught manners from the womb. As we grew older, our dad worked nights, so it was imperative to be quiet. We learned the fine art of opening a door without a sound.

The combination of manners and consideration is hard to beat. Consideration for our fellow man has to make a comeback. The world is harsh enough without adding disrespect for one another.

I see it on a daily basis on our Discussion Forum and Story Comments. People bash each other and everything around them  on a regular basis. I get hateful e-mails from readers. After doing this for as many years as I have, I have pretty thick skin but I feel sad for those who see nothing good in anything.

I hope it’s not a sign of the times and honestly, I hope it’s just me. I think there’s a lot of good and a lot to be happy about. 

I love getting up and seeing Lake Havasu as I make my way to work. The sun bouncing off the mountains on the California side of the lake sets me up for a great day.

I’m not freezing and I’m not shoveling snow! Now that’s what I call something to be happy about.

I hope I never stop thinking of others and I hope I never get grouchy and negative. I’ve always told my family if there is a hint of that … well, you know the rest.

Y’all have a great day, now and be kind to one another!

Posted by: beckymaxedon | January 13, 2009

How ’bout them Cardinals!

I have to admit, it was pretty darn exciting watching the Arizona Cardinals rout the Carolina Panthers last Saturday. I was a Philadelphia Eagles fan Sunday and although the game was one of the sloppiest ones I’ve ever seen, McNab pulled it off and here we are – hosting the NFC Championship game Sunday!

The whole process has been history in the making. Not only had the Cardinals never won a playoff game in the history of the franchise, they had never hosted a playoff game. Now they have won two and are going for almost all the marbles this weekend.

The irony here is if they make it to the Super Bowl – and if they play the game the way they have the past two weeks they can – they are a year past playing the big game in their house!

Each week as I watched the games, I thought of Bill Murray in “Caddy Shack.” “It’s a Cinderella season.”

Watching the team play at the end of that season could have lulled even the biggest fan into giving them little chance to advance.

Clinching the division so early, they appeared to be simply going through the motions with nothing to play for.

The underdog mentality has worked for them so far and yes, folks, they are once again the 3-point underdog going into the championship game. No chance of a blackout this weekend – tickets sold out in six minutes.

No matter how Sunday’s game shakes out, the team has made history and nobody can take that away. Arizonans should feel proud and get on the bandwagon!

Sunday will be a day of football at what should be its best.

Go Cardinals! A Super Bowl appearance would be the icing on the cake.

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